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The celebrated Wild, Wild Country documentary series reminds one of the most extravagant characters of contemporary spirituality. We visited his meditation center in the Indian city of Pune .
Central track of Penthouze, one of the fashion clubs of Pune. High hours of the morning. Full-blown electronic music, people dancing, drinking, trying to sign. Dreams of neon lights, sweaty bodies, mascara, Profiden smiles, fitted shirts, crepuscular courtships …
In the center, between hordes of twenty-year-old Indian hipsters and the incipient Jet Set of the city, three garnet-colored tunics stand out that are literally giving everything: they dance jerkily, arms on one side, legs on the other, wobble, raise their arms with open palms as if they were performing a gospel prayer, while the LED cannon illuminates the silhouette of their hands.
Entrance to the Osho Meditation Resort © Alamy
The dances remind of traditional African dances, but at two thousand revolutions per minute. His runaway body contrasts with their faces, which emanate an angelic aura. They are European, blond hair, blue eyes and yes, they are having a great time.
Indeed, these are three guests of the Osho Meditation Resort, which coincidentally is five minutes from Koregaon Park, the city's party area.
For those who still do not know, this center was founded in 1974 by Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, better known as Osho (Bhopal 1931- Pune 1990), the most controversial and bizarre spiritual leader that India has given.
If you want to know more in depth you just have to see Wild, Wild Country, a brilliant Netflix documentary series that addresses the life of this great character . In it we find bioterrorism, silences that last five years, the largest Rolls Royce collection in the world, free love, FBI, impossible Rappel-style robes, assassination attempts, weapons and utopian cities in the middle of nowhere. Anyway, a delirium that if it were not because it is archidocumented would seem like a fantasy taken from a delirious HBO screenwriter.
Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, better known as Osho © Getty Images
FOLLOW THE PARTY
Going back to disk. Contrary to what many might believe these three 'oshitos' (as they are affectionately called) did not escape, like ashes, from the resort. No, they can go out, drink and celebrate life as if there were no tomorrow, that's what it is for.
To understand these seemingly opposite worlds (the search for Nirvana and spiritual peace and the nights of bohemia and debauchery), nothing better than asking the protagonists.
Sharing the status of a foreigner in an exotic country generates a certain complicity. So at a time when one of them was at the bar making rum and tail supplies I approached him and introduced myself. With the best of his smiles he replied that they were coming from Holland, and that they planned to be in the Osho center for a month to meditate and make a spiritual retreat.
After a couple of common issues I enter the rag and ask for that admirable exaltation of life. “Traditionally the spiritual path to the elevation of the soul has been through the renunciation of the material, introspection, asceticism, is what happens with the sadhus, who live without any property, practically naked. In Europe the same thing happens with monks, who are isolated in monasteries, "he explains.
"Osho preaches that this path towards the liberation of the soul can also be achieved through joy, laughter and the celebration of life, and that is what we do, " says the young man, with the conviction of the one he has discovered in Holy Grail himself After the brief, but concise class of new spirituality, he returned to the track to lead by example.
Achieve the liberation of the soul through joy, laughter and the celebration of life © Getty Images
A GREAT TOURIST RESORT
It is very possible that the party ended at the meditation resort, because there they also have party rooms, bars and, of course, cannons with LED light rays.
Entering the call by many "Disneyland of spirituality" is not easy. It is similar to a large tourist resort and access is restricted to customers. For the curious, among which I was, there is a guided one-day visit, with a payment of Rs 1, 900 (about 24 euros), which allows you to reach the common areas. Guests pay an average of about 1, 200 euros per month all inclusive, a price not negligible in Indian latitudes.
After photocopying the passport and making the payment, a group of about 25 people accompanied by a guide enter the enclosure.In the interior, open spaces, garden areas with freshly cut grass and small paths to walk around predominate . There is a large pool and not far from tennis and basketball courts . All customers seem to be very busy having fun.
The gardens are amazing, with fountains, streams and a large presence of exotic flowers and trees. This space is open to the public, as if it were Osho's legacy to the community.
Pyramid in which the meditation sessions are held © Alamy
It is among these gardens that a large black pyramidal structure emerges that reminds me of the 2001 monolith: an odyssey of space. They explain that meditation sessions are held there, but we cannot enter.
There is also a Wine Bar (yes, alcohol is allowed), where mostly European groups chat animatedly. A fact that generates surprise, and the odd look, is the clothing of all guests. They are invariably of garnet color: those in the pool with a garnet swimsuit, those who play tennis with a T-shirt and maroon shorts and the rest with elongated tunics that end in a skirt of the same color.
When you meet the 'oshitos', everyone greets with a reverent gesture and a wide smile, as if they were in a permanent state of absolute happiness.
A CONTROVED THEME
There is a question that brings out the colors of many local citizens and the odd foreigner: all guests must be tested and present an HIV test. When we asked the guide about it, he offered us a face a hundred times studied and replied: "These are hygiene and safety issues . " New paragraph.
Osho was known as the 'Guru of sex', since among his practices was the practice of free group sex, a fact that generated not a few problems in the United States. In his texts he positions himself against marriage and understands sexuality as another way of relating.
Yes, they also have a pool © Alamy
None of the 'oshitos' wanted to get wet, all responded that there are many legends on this subject, that the important thing is to "convey a message of peace and love."
Well, it seems that Osho's secrets will remain hidden inside the mysterious black pyramid.
The Osho meditation center is in the Indian city of Pune, in the state of Maharashtra, about 120 kilometers south of Mumbai. It has about five million inhabitants.
The city, which lives outside the tourist itineraries of the country, is known as a university city, something like the Indian Salamanca.
As for the points of interest, the presence of several Hindu, Buddhist and Jain temples stand out. The best known are those of Chaturshringi and Paravati.
Pune, the city where it all started © Getty Images